Daniel Negreanu took down the final heat of the PartyPoker Premier League Poker IV to secure a place in the heads up playoffs. He defeated Phil Hellmuth heads up and in doing so, eliminated the Poker Brat from the competition. Negreanu will now take on last year’s champion JC Tran in a heads up playoff while Roland De Wolfe and Ian Frazer will guarantee at least one more Brit in the final as they face each other.
Negreanu said: “Man that was such a rocky road! I thought third was going to be enough bar a few scenarios but those scenarios turned up, Roland did real good and I had to make sure I got heads-up.”
Hellmuth said: “I can’t be too disappointed really – I feel good with the way I’ve played. I love playing under the heat of pressure and I feel I’m on the path to achieving great things this year but it just didn’t happen to me here.”
Phil Laak, David Benyamine, Luke Schwartz and Giovanni Safina all make it into the final directly. What a story it is for Safina, who qualified for this event for €100 online and after a very consistent showing in one of his first ever live poker experiences, is guaranteed at least $108,000 in prize money:
“I am going to do this for Italy and for myself,” said Safina, who is an amateur poker player. “It was emotional to play with the world’s top pros at the start but now I am confident.”
Safina was subject to the trademark trash talk from Luke Schwartz who called the 44 year old a ‘little boy’, which prompted Safina to don headphones in the group photo below in retaliation.
“I hope Luke behaves himself tomorrow – whatever I don’t care – this is just such an amazing experience” he added.
Although it was a high stakes tournament with everything on the line, it didn’t stop it being a fun day of action. Tony G and Roland De Wolfe elected to wear Kermit and Darth Vader masks respectively and Schwartz, who only needed a middle place finish to progress, decided to blind out and was replaced by a stuffed monkey.
Schwartz said: “It was a bit of a sweat for me today and I feel I should have got through yesterday but it’s all good. (On not sitting at the table and the monkey replacing him) It was the logical move – I knew what I had to do and how to achieve it and I did.”
You can see all the action from the heads up playoff AND the final table today via our Pokernews Live Updates tonight.
Final League Standings
x-1. Phil Laak – 48 points
x-2. David Benyamine - 38 points
x-T-3. Giovanni Safina - 29 points
x-T-3. Luke Schwartz – 29 points
*5. Daniel Negreanu – 26 points
*6. Ian Frazer – 26 points
*7. Roland De Wolfe – 22 points
*8. JC Tran – 20 points
9. Phil Hellmuth - 19 points
10. Yevgeniy Timoshenko – 16 points
11. Vanessa Rousso – 16 points
12. Tony G - 11 points
x - clinched final table berth
* - progressed to heads up playoff
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